To apply for a scholarship for our extended workshops, the button below will take you to our scholarship page.
Damascus Integral Chef Knife
Dates: April 27th – May 1st & September 14th -18th
In this workshop students will have the opportunity to create their own damascus billet and forge an integral chef knife. With significantly more time than the weekend workshop, this class is geared for people with some knife making experience that have the desire to work closely with Nick.
Students will start on the first day by forging a small mono steel integral paring knife. This gets the class warmed up and gives them a chance to learn about forging the bolsters on something smaller and more manageable. Next, focus will be placed on creating and forging their own pattern steel billet in which they will forge their integral chef knife. Various pattern techniques will be discussed and an emphasis placed on controlled hand forging.
This is an in-depth workshop giving students the full experience of creating a damascus integral chef knife. Covered in this workshop are hand forging, striking, power hammer techniques, pattern making, forge welding, sanding, etching, and finishing.
Dates: May 11th – 15th
During this one-week class students will make a padlock as an introduction into the language and techniques of locksmithing. A padlock provides an exciting and challenging format in which forging and bench work are combined to create a basic locking mechanism. Most parts of the lock will start in the fire and at the anvil and then be refined and assembled using basic hand tools at the bench.
Some of the techniques covered in this workshop include controlled hand forging, cold punching and riveting, brazing, the hardening and tempering of springs, decorative file work, and general assembly and layout. Other types of locks, keys, and mechanisms will be presented and discussed as well.
The Art and Science of Bloomery Smelting
Instructor: Lee Sauder
Dates: May 25th – 29th
In this class you will learn the basic aspects of bloomery smelting, the ancient method of winning metallic iron from iron-bearing stone. We will cover furnace construction, the theory of iron reduction, and smelting high quality forgeable iron. According to time and student interest, we will continue with techniques for forging this iron, converting this iron into hardenable steel, or just smelt more iron. Everyone can expect to go home with a piece of iron that you yourself have liberated from Earth.
With its rich history in iron and steel production, Johnstown, PA, is a great setting to host this workshop. This city was integral in developing the process large scale steel manufacturers relied on for modern steel making. By the 1870’s the Cambria Iron Company was a leading producer of steel and performed early experiments with the Kelly converter and built the first blooming mill. Come immerse yourself in this historic setting, participate in a workshop that is extremely relevant for this location, and create iron from ore in Johnstown, PA for the first time in over 27 years.
Power Hammer Techniques
Instructor: Haley Woodward
Dates: June 8th– 12th
This class will focus in great detail on the safe and effective use of power hammers, operating with flat dies and tooling. We will go over how these machines work and how to make basic tooling for the power hammer. From there we will explore a variety of forged shapes, through the outlet of a forged anchor. This project will illustrate the versatility and effectiveness of these machines.
Forging on flat dies can be extremely versatile and offers you more work surface area than combo dies. With the use of hand tooling, this class will illustrate how to forge an incredibly vast amount of shapes and joinery techniques on a power hammer with flat dies.
Processes to be covered will focus on power hammer tool making, tapering, upsetting, shouldering, spreading, punching, drifting, and joinery. This class is open to all levels, but will start with the basics and move quickly from there, building on previous exercises as we go.
Toolmaking for Spoon Carving
Instructor: Reid Schwartz
Dates: August 10th – 14th
This course covers the basics of forging, heat-treatment and sharpening of simple and effective woodcarving tools. Students will produce their own straight as well as bent blades, shape and mount their own handles and then put them to use carving freshly-harvested wood.
In depth discussions will include practical approaches to metallurgy, edge geometry for woodworking, handle ergonomics, as well as the opportunities and limitations of working with green-wood. The carving portion of the course will focus on safe knife grips, spoon design, and how to acquire and break down fresh rounds of timber into usable pieces. Students will leave with tools they made and knowledge of how to maintain and use them. Intended as a beginner level course with enough information and challenge to keep an intermediate smith interested.
Intentional Connections: Forge Welding, Design and Form
Instructor: Peter Braspenninx
Dates: August 24th – 28th
In this week-long class we will focus on traditional and nontraditional methods of design and joinery. The beginning of the week will be about design, development, and discovery, with demonstrations of techniques and discussions about design and methods. Through a series of small assignments and exercises the students will build a knowledge of material movement and make small samples for what will be a project of their own design.
The second half of the week will be about planning, process and preparation as we take the skills that have been presented and form them into an individual student designed final project. This will be a time of trouble shooting and instructor assisted design time, where we will plan, measure, and produce together, based on the skills and ideas that have been taught.
*My goal as an instructor is to help facilitate looking at the metal from a different perspective, and to help guide you, the student, through the process of design and execution.
Instructor: Patrick Quinn
Dates: April 20th – 24th
In this class students will explore the possibilities of joinery, isolated and manipulated mass, and the combination of those to create Sculpture. Emphasis will be placed on clean forgings, power hammer work, and joinery to develop sculptural ideas that will result in connecting multiple parts into a single unified work.
Graceful lines and tapers will be discussed and practiced on the power hammers. The use of set tools, striking, and shouldering will be practiced at the anvil to isolate mass and move material into desired places for connections.
Students will be encouraged to think of line and form three dimensionally in space, and face the challenge of how to develop several forgings connected with custom fasteners that relate spatially and proportionately to one another. Participants should come ready to experiment and problem solve. The exercise of connecting sculptural forgings with traditional joinery is challenging and the main focus of this workshop.
Finishing your work will be covered and different patinations will be discussed and sampled. Surface treatment and textures within the material will be addressed, and the patinas reaction to such will be demonstrated.
Forging and Design
Instructor: Dan Neville
Dates: August 31st– September 4th
In this workshop students will be building their skills as a beginner or novice blacksmith. The class will begin by talking about form and how to identify what processes are most appropriate to execute a design when creating a functional object. Moving to the fire, students will start with several warm up projects that will show the limitations and possibilities of forged and fabricated steel.
Next, personal projects will develop with individual guidance that will focus on a functional object of your choice. Researching samples and finished pieces will be used to help create the vocabulary for the work we design. This process will help students start to think about how function and beauty can coexist in one object. Sheetmetal forming, tapering, isolating material, joinery, and hammer control will be the foundation of this class. Exercises throughout the week will help build your skills and confidence at the forge.
Forging Focus: Tool Making, Joinery, and Applied Forgings
Instructors: Patrick Quinn & Dan Neville
Visiting Instructor: Doug Wilson
Dates: June 22nd – July 31st
Forging technique and tooling is the key to quality work. Whether you’re interested in sculpture, toolmaking, architectural work or anything in-between, this technique-based workshop is a six-week course that covers a broad range of forging techniques both at the anvil and the power hammer. Strong emphasis will be placed on toolmaking and how those forgings and techniques are beneficial to all other areas of blacksmithing. Students will use these tools and others to execute a variety of forging and joinery projects that will illustrate proper tool usage and care.
Week 1 & 2
Focus will start at the anvil and the first two weeks will primarily be projects that develop and challenge hammer control, different hand tools, and how to affectively use the anvil. During this portion of the class various tool making projects and smaller utilitarian objects will be executed through hand forging, striking and joinery. A strong foundation of basic forging technique is key for development. Topics covered are tapering, shouldering, material isolation, upsetting, punching, drifting, and riveting. Students can expect to make various hand tools, punches, chisels, tongs and a hammer. With these tools and more they will create a variety of other objects as well.
Week 3 & 4
Design, Drawing, Concept Development, and Execution with Doug Wilson
We will begin with a few group drawing exercises which will help us to define, explore and understand our design inspiration and concepts. Ideas for creating projects rooted in traditional hot forging processes and techniques will be explored, discussed, and practiced. As the third week progresses participants will develop more clearly defined individual projects and we will continually make prototypes and samples of elements and joinery inspired by these ideas. Afternoons will include making models of elements in clay, tar paper and binding wire. I will demonstrate various traditional joinery methods including rivets, tenons, and hot collaring. I will also demonstrate a wide variety of scarfing set-ups for various configurations of forged elements. You will get my demo: “Forge Welding, No Myth, No Mystery, Satisfaction Guaranteed!” There will also be plenty of forge time for students to work at development of individual forging skills and the prototyping of elements for individual projects. By the end of week one, participants will have developed and refined the plans for individual projects.
Demonstrations will continue but at this point students should have a clearly defined image of what they want to create. My focus will be more on the students individual projects helping them to execute their specific ideas forgings and connections. Participants will focus on producing elements for their own individual projects, joining them together and finishing them. This is a great opportunity to explore design in connection with forging and to work closely with me on how the two depend on each other for the creation of nice work. This portion of the workshop will be a nice blend of technique, inspiration, and how to identify the right process or process to create and join elements of your drawings and models in forged steel.
Week 5 & 6
Following the two-week concept development and design portion of the workshop, projects will include hand forging, striking, and power hammer work. During this time a final project will be introduced that draws from all or most techniques covered in the workshop and involve a more complicated assembly. Design consideration and layout will be covered and tips to help keep your work accurate when assembling multiple parts. Students should expect to leave with a firm or better grasp of forging at the anvil and power hammer with a pile of tools they made to help them continue to grow as a blacksmith, and the confidence to work in other shops with other smiths.
To apply for a scholarship for our extended workshops, the button below will take you to our scholarship page.